Dunkin’ Brands Inc. said Monday it hired former Starbucks’ executive Paul Twohig to serve as brand operating officer for its Dunkin’ Donuts chain.

Twohig replaces William Kussell, who resigned as Dunkin’ Donuts’ president and chief brand officer on Oct. 1. Nigel Travis, chief executive of Dunkin’ Donuts’ parent company, Dunkin’ Brands Inc., will take over as the chain’s president.

Twohig, who served as division senior vice president for Starbucks before joining Dunkin’ Brands, will head up operations for the doughnut chain and serve on its parent company’s leadership team. He will report directly to Travis.

Twohig also has served as chief operating officer for Panera Bread and in various management positions at such brands as Burger King and Boston Market.

Travis said Twohig would “play a key role in helping us meet the needs of both our customers and our franchise community to continue our brand’s growth and success.”

Dunkin’ Donuts operates more than 8,800 restaurants in 31 countries worldwide and reported annual sales of $5.5 billion in 2008.

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